Thursday, January 7, 2010

Chapter 6: Socioemotional Development (Childhood)

1 comment:

  1. Observing and evaluating the self:

    1) Explicitly discusses Erikson's initiative versus guilt task comparing this preschool challenge=exuberantly testing your abilities in the wider world, to the demands of elementary school, industry=managing your behavior to work for a goal.

    2) Extends Carol Dweck's principle that its crucial to reinforce kids for trying hard to children with low academic self worth

    3) This section concludes with a difficult topic: racial differences in how students evaluate teacher's praise. Titled "Praise, Academic Self-efficacy and the Racial self", I discuss research suggesting that praise can mean something very different when African American children enter concrete operations, and become aware of negative racial academic stereotypes (The teacher is just saying I'm good; I can't be that smart because I'm black). On a positive note, I end with suggestions for teachers to minimize the development of these poisonous attributions.

    Aggression, popularity, and bullying:

    In general, in this chapter I've paid more attention to the uses of instrumental aggression in gaining status even during preschool and elementary school. In other words, rather than simply labeling popular kids as prosocial, class leaders even at younger ages are often "bistrategic"--both aggressive and prosocial.

    Then, later in the chapter, I describe longitudinal research documenting that peer norms favoring aggression (and rebellion) become much more central to popularity at about age 12 to 14. (the reasons for this phenomenon are explained in chapter 9)

    Finally this chapter discusses bullying in much more depth--spelling out which percentage of children are chronically victimized, contrasting bully-victims with traditional victims; exploring the challenges of taking action against a bully on your own; showcasing studies demonstating that when the class norms support bullying everyone bullies, including the nicest kids--;........ and yes, emphasizing that bullying--because it does work at gaining status--is to some degree a "normal" and predictable (though unwelcome) activity built in to being human at every age. (In other words, changing the social norms is indeed the key to reducing its frequency, but bullying is difficult to fully eradicate during childhood and adult life)